It’s Been One of Those Semesters – 1

The Voice of Hunter College Since 1944? Oh, Please!

Part 1 of 4:

Below is a message I posted on Hunter-L early in the semester regarding a cheap shot by Editor in Chief Ming Fearon, who is at the top of the food chain for a Hunter student publication that purports to be “the voice of Hunter College since 1944.”

Its faculty advisor is D:F/M Professor Bernard Stein.  Ming writes the column, “Letter from the Editor. Hunter-L is an important listserv at Hunter for general information posted by faculty, students and some staff.

Serious student journalists learn from their mistakes. Can that also be said about those who engage in cheap shots, an ignominious custom of  this student publication with a reputation for journalistic ignominy?

When the Envoy was originally chartered, its logo was “the student voice of Hunter College.” That was easy to say eons ago when the campus was as homogeneous as most New York City Colleges. Hunter wasn’t co-ed then. Now, being the voice of a student body that is regarded as the most culturally diverse four-year college in the CUNY system would appear to be very challenging to a respectable student newspaper.  However, the Envoy  purports to be “The Voice of Hunter College.” Absurd, if not silly.

One wonders if there are sentient minds in that editorial newsroom. Where is the Academic Advisor? Nevertheless, here is my post on Hunter-L regarding  Ming Fearon’s October 6-12, 2010 “Letter From (sic) the Editor”:

Subject Line: Attention Envoy Editor-in-Chief Ming Fearon (Short Version)

Regarding my Hunter-L post about the Obama conference call with student news organizations September 27. It was announced on Hunter-L to alert Hunter student news media (including student bloggers) so that they could participate if they wanted. Envoy editor Jesse Lent contacted me in response to that HL-post and was in turn emailed a response that the Envoy would certainly be accommodated. An additional message was added to the Envoy facebook page. And there were additional non-email communiqués.

Thus, your reference to me in that Roger Dangerfield-esque editorial Oct. 6-12, with its whining and whimpering that the Envoy can’t get no respect, was grossly inaccurate and typically insipid like the rest of the editorial. Especially this comment: “The lack of support we receive from our school sends the wrong message about the kind of paper we are.”

I’ve lost track of the myriad initiatives and efforts – official and unofficial­ – over many years by professors, students, USGs, administrators, alumni, alumna, staff et. al. to help/rescue/resuscitate the Envoy from its cretinous ineptitude and whacked indulgence in journalism quackery, which are documented in Envoy issues archived in the library. Those back issues should be required reading for every in-coming Editor-in-Chief and staff before someone writes another Roger Dangerfield – or worse.

An Envoy editor enrolled in my class said in class that the E-editors in a meeting decided that they weren’t interested in participating in the phone conference. Your Letter from the Editor, however, says the Envoy didn’t participate because a professor – me – didn’t respond to an editor “who emailed him about the event.” How gauche.

The rest of this response is in the attachment if anyone cares to read.

Attachment read:

[I use to work behind the scenes with serious Envoy editors (even during those days long passed when SLAM, with help from Colleagues in D:F/M, was running the publication into the deepest nether regions of journalism quackery. The last editor was Hannah Miet; before her, Charlotte Cusmano. I use to encourage students in my news writing classes to submit articles to the Envoy. I use to do a lot of things Envoy. So, the plan now is to wait until the next Editor in Chief shows up, and then I may consider a re-assessment but the future does not look promising. Envoy History keeps repeating and repeating and repeating.

Nevertheless, you want direct encouragement from professors? Professor Buddy Stein signed on a while back to be the Envoy faculty advisor. I think you should contact him if he’s still on board. Professor Peter Parisi, during the darkest days of the Envoy (and believe me, they were dark) “encouraged” students to write for the Envoy no matter what. You might consider contacting him too. These aren’t endorsements. Just suggestions.

G Morris

Assistant Professor


Part 2: The Envoy Responds

Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.